INSME participated on the 20th and 21st of March to the 1st EU-African SME Summit organized by European Entrepreneurs CEA-PME (the European Confederation of the Associations of Small and Medium Enterprises) in Brussels at the European Committee of the Regions.
INSME President Sergio Arzeni intervened with a speech during the conference highlighting that access to trade and technology is as equally important as access to finance. These two items – trade and technology – combined can really enable the leapfrogging needed for Africa to grow. The digital revolution can offer the means to empower African SMEs to go cross-border both in Africa itself and in Europe.
INSME Member CONFAPI (the Italian Confederation of Small and Medium-sized Industries) represented by its President, Mr. Maurizio Casasco, was also present at the Conference and highlighted that cooperation between African and European SMEs in the energy and agro-industry sectors can generate great opportunities at geopolitical level too.
A keynote speech was also given by the Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness Mr. Jyrki Katainen who underlined the benefits delivered by the cooperation between firms in the two continents and the work done by the EU to support this cooperation.
The 1st EU-African SME Summit also marked a milestone in the history of cooperation between Africa and Europe: a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a European-African SME Alliance among 156 European and African SMEs Associations, including INSME, has been signed to agree upon a mutual cooperation with a view to supporting sustainable economic development to benefit entrepreneurship in Africa and Europe.
To learn more about the conference, please click here.